Rabu, 11 Maret 2009

Features? - That's rich!

Yesterday I discovered unused features in my car. This is due to the time change, a task I have yet to master. Instead I have learned to drive to the dealership and have them check something else but add, "Oh, while you're there, will you go ahead and re-set the clock, please?" As if they don't know.But now I know how to glide from military hours to civilian clocking. I know how to reset the MPH and MPG and go from F to C in all degrees. Did I mention I've been driving this vehicle for 3 years?

Then, there's the unsurprising mention of the digital camera. Go figure. Go figure it out. Talk about features (I am)! If I kept the thing dangling around my neck 16 hours a day, 6 days a week and claimed it to be my signature jewelry piece, and used it to the point where no one saw my face, I'd still get up on day 7 and have to refresh my mind on the options, aka features.

Of course, the laptop has built in features in software programs, la -de -dah. But today I found myself in a slow panic waiting for the PC to come to life. More on that later. Deciding to let the flying Microsoft colors take a look at it I clicked on the button with the symbol and let the diagnostics do their things. It's then I notice that there is an fn button which I know intuitively, and because the blue lettering on it matches the blue lettering under the function keys labels, these are the features or options activated through using that key and an associated function key. Who knew? And, to that I add, what the heck are some of these things. I dare not use them for fear of launching the back half of the house into outer space. It means getting out another manual and looking something up which is so not happening. Those features haven't been used yet. Apparently they are unnecessary.

Speaking of unnecessary, I want (notice I did not say need although it may come to that)a curling iron with auto-shut off. Yes, I've walked away from my plain one too many times, returning to send a word of thanks to God that there is still a home here and then shut it off. So while in a major drug store I pass down the aisle displaying hair equipment. To my amazement I can now get a curling iron with 25 heat settings. Huh? Why? Does my hair know if I use setting 15 or 16? If it is too hot is the curl too tight or does my hair rebel and refuse to curl? Am I risking scorching my hair with only "low" and "high" as my choices?

My point, if there must be one, is that gadgets, thing-a-ma-gigs, all seem to be feature heavy. I remember times when it used to be said that something basic, like a printer was great and when printers became printer/fax/copy/scan they became mediocre. Do one thing and do it right and do it well.

Cars that don't require a flowchart to make simple changes yet are still comfy and safe - that's an idea!

Computers that reduce fear factors (really, what could go wrong?) by offering kinder functions - ha! Control - Alt - Delete!!! It's right to use but the first time - you remember your first time using it - FEAR. Right? You thought everything would leave.

And, well, let the curling iron issue go - that's just too bizarre to try to figure out. Turn on, heat up, curl, turn off.

Now I hear on the news that iPod is obsolete. Glad I'm waiting for all this to settle down. I like my CD's in the car and at home. I don't need to haul 14,000 songs around with me. But at least a music playing device heard the message:

Do one thing and do it right and do it well. Machines should. People should.

Oh, and why I was waiting for the PC to come to life was because my wireless mouse needed new batteries. In the imagination part of my brain I was already shopping for a new one and checking to see when I last backed up files so I could move them. The logical side knew to check some things first. Then the mouse quit so I knew. Let that be a tip you store for future use.

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